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Comments on: Palm Offers $200 Pre 2 Discount to Developers

Palm's WebOS developer day starts tomorrow in NYC and they have kicked things off in grand fashion with some good news: the just-released unlocked GSM Pre 2 is available for a sweet $200 discount to developers in the United States, according to Palm's Developer Center site.

This promotion is effective immediately and each discount coupon code is valid for only one device purchase. Purchase requests for the discount will need to made to pdc@palm.com and the fine print says HP/Palm reserve the right to quality purchasers as developers. Nevertheless, this is a long overdue and very welcome gesture to the developer community and will hopefully be the first step of many to rejuvenate WebOS software development.

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Still a brick?

gmayhak @ 11/20/2010 6:33:34 AM # Q
This would be great but doesn't it still need a carrier service to function or can it function as a pda with wifi without a carrier?

(quality / qualify) typo?
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RE: Still a brick?
hkklife @ 11/20/2010 8:17:17 AM # Q
Gary;

Excellent question, sir, and one I've wondered aloud myself recently. Perhaps one of our Pre-owning friends here can chime in? I HIGHLY doubt Palm is shipping out specially modified "wi-fi mode" Pre 2's to developers. Will one of these things even let you set up a Palm profile without a SIM card installed?

I know I researched the issue heavily a year ago or so when trying to help a friend overseas get a used Sprint Pre to use via wi-fi for testing purposes. I know that at the time (WebOS 1.3.x or so) a CDMA WebOS device HAD to have active cellular service & connection for the initial startup thing to complete so I imagine a valid, active SIM card would also be required. Sorta like how a virgin iPod Touch/iPhone has that USB cable symbol and prompts you to connect it to iTunes.

And I have read reports elsewhere that a Pre will cease to function if it's rebooted after cellular service is removed from the device, so you cannot even use it like an unconnected PDA the way you can a Palm OS, Android, or WinMob device!

Android smartphones, thankfully, can have their initial activation bypassed with 4 taps (though I could see some manufacturers' custom ROMs disallowing this feature eventually) but I think it's still mandatory for WebOS and iOS. I know there are ways to hack the Pre and get around that but it involves Linux command line work and a lot of needlessly complex tomfoolery.

Again, the best thing HP/Palm could do for developers or to stir up casual interest for WebOS would be a WebOS "Touch" PDA/PMP-style device not dependent on cellular service. Wi-fi only devices are all the rage nowadays in these tough economic times. Look at all of the people pissed that they cannot get a wi-fi only version of th Samsung's Galaxy Tab. But while that kind of device would've been a home run for Palm in the first half of '09, it'd be little more than an interesting curiosity at this stage of the game.
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